Extra Punctuation: Mixing Single and Multiplayer

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Totally agree with Yahtzee here. How many games have you changed your mind about buying because of coop, or been ruined because of it. I was looking forward to FEAR 3 to see the next step in the plot, then I found out about coop and it became a case of well that's gone down the toilet. Also to those saying but Demon Souls did it right, ok fine, wow...1 game did it right. How many have been ruined because of it again?

If a game needs other people to make it entertaining, it's a bad game.

l3o2828:
I understand your point,Yahtzee, i really do.
But then again,some people just like to play with friends , to a game with no care in the world for the plot or the immersion, and just have fun and having something to chew on when the chat goes dry.

But that's his point-he,(and I'm TOTALLY with him even though I enjoy co-op, MP and SP equally)doesn't want CAMAIGNS ruined by the fashion for co-op or MP style scoring ranks as it detracts(esp in a tense or survival horror)from the story and the immersion. Look at the way a SP gamer had to put up with the effin awful AI for Sheva in RE5 for instance. She was only there TO allow co-op and when played alone she got in the way, used health items randomly and was often puzzled by things like stairs. In fact I ended up giving her the rifles(shes a computer so she xcan use it close up unlike me)and anything useless but, really, all it did was turn the game into a babysitting sim for baby minded matey AI and in LP2 the issue was tripled!! I DID play it first in co-op but, naturally, any "scary" game played with a mate(or , even worse, a random)just becomes a funny, laughavble game experience.

Halo can usually manage to allow both SP and co-op so, surely, just ALLOW it in games suited to it and don't force it down the throat of SP gamers-and even more so if your series, like FEAR and RE, is built on classic SP. It kills story, gameplay and immersion when leaking iinot the campaign proper.

In L4D it works because the SP doesn't pretend to be a real game but mere training for co-op and also gets away, when RE can't, because it's more a survival by beating sheer numbers s the fear is being overwhelmed, in the main, with little story to ruin.

fuck Pride and Prejudice haunted me in highschool and i cant even escape it here

Gaming could be one of the most exciting new forms of storytelling in all media but you're all cancelling Pride & Prejudice to show the Friday night football.

Gimme football please.
Great analogy there, Yahtzee.

Oh Yahtzee, how I can relate, falling over drunk after a conga line, then giggling like a little girl just isn't for me ;)

I think it's a good idea to build in Co op from the ground up on certain games (L4D), but I agree that slapping it in there because your game is boring just ruins it further.

Personally I also think that Co op is just what modern day military shooters need for their campaigns, It works well for Halo, so why not CoD/ BF. But like I said, this needs to be something built from the ground up. Imagine BF:BC, where everyone gets to be a certain guy... I'm trademarking that shit.

cynicalsaint1:
I don't think the problem is so much mixing single and multiplayer, its doing it in a hamfisted manner where you just sort of shove co-op stuff into your single player game.

Take Demon's Souls, the messaging system, the bloodstains, the white phantoms all add to feel of the game. The threat of having a black phantom invade while you're playing in body form. Teaming up with someone as a blue phantom to get some revenge on a boss that pissed you off. It all works very well, and adds to the atmosphere of the game rather than ruin it.

I was going to say that. Thanks for doing it, so I don't have to.

Also, Stall is right in his post a page back. I can't even count anymore, how often I survived something in my first playthrough just because a message or bloodstain hinted at the threat. Not to mention all the fine folks helping me out with the Flamelurker or Penetrator. The first time I became the level's boss in 3-3 for another poor guy was one of the most thrilling experiences I ever had in gaming. But I suppose if you just got crushed all the time and didn't kill anything you might rant about one of the best games from the last decade.

best way is to have stuff like max payne 2 but have mona always be doable instead of max and a separate solo from coop mode. random coop is only for games like L4D. ALso all main characters have to be coopable if in coop mode.

Yahtzee: I really wish console games would stop trying to mix single and multiplayer.

So says the man that hates MP and just all other homo sapients to begin with. What's next? Should we ask if Moviebob thinks PS3/360 should go belly up and Nintendo should buy up all their exclusive IPs and Mario-fy them?

(kinda like Disney-fy but made overly yet unintentionally racist and nonsensical)

I mean seriously, MovieBob thought this rendition of the Prince of Persia main would be much better..../facepalm

pride and prejudice sucked i would be happy if they cancelled it for football

Not just "yes" ... Hell yes.

I remember a few years back, I was gullible enough to buy a CoD or MW or BF or WTF first person shooter game. I don't remember which, as I threw the box against the wall in frustration about 4 hours after I'd gotten home, because I BEAT THE FUCKING GAME.

Seriously, one night, in two brief sittings only separated by a quick meal break... I beat the entire campaign mode. WTF is this? Perhaps I was just naive, but I had no idea that I was buying a strictly multiplayer game with a token campaign as a cock-tease. That should be front and center on the box art. "This is just really just a re-skin of every other FPS Death Match and capture the flag. You didn't actually expect us to put in effort, did you?"

For what it's worth... I remember it was the game that got a shit-ton of publicity for letting you participate in some terrorist shoot em up of an airport, before getting shot in the face yourself (oh btw, spoiler alert: you get shot in the face and die) And truth be told, I didn't actually throw it against the wall in anger, though I probably should have. Rather, I dejectedly removed the game from my XBox, but it back in the case and set it on my shelf, where it's still collecting dust. I could probably go over there and check the title, but it's not worth the effort.

I don't mind games with the Option of Co-op... but if that shit get's mandatory, then it just pisses me off. The Halo series was pretty good with the Co-op, but it was optional (And it had the big ass multiplayer thing anyway) but I just don't want to play F.3.A.R (Fucking hell. Still, not as bad as STALKER) because the Co-op nature will just ruin the Horror and storyline. Dead Space Multiplayer is not scary, but the Singleplayer campaign gripped me by the bollocks on more than one occasion, and when we watched a friend of mine play Amnesia, we laughed at points - ruining the atmosphere of the game, and destroyed any form of immersion into the storyline/character role.

I get what he's saying, but I think (and hope) plot is do-able in co-op games. It isn't going to be easy, but I think it could expand our horizons. We can watch serious movies with friends, why not play games?

Whose going to tell him F.3.A.R isn't developed by Monolith?

Simply put, the third installment was shit. I tend to avoid cussing in forum posts because it makes you sound dumb, but there's no other way to put it. FEAR 1 and 2 I feel did do horror correctly enough for me to be emotionally beat up after I played them and stop 2 hours before bedtime just so that my mind would calm down. The unofficial Perseus and Extraction Point expansions also did all of this marvelously, putting you in crazy situations. But Fear 3 just lost everything it had going for itself. From the day I saw Lith was not deving the game, I knew it could never reach the same quality. Maybe I was too much into it, I usually am with games.

Regenerating health turned me and my brother into stupid rush in and shoot everything machines instead of a part of a government agency soldier fighting impossible odds using strategy to get around it. Fear 2 had already lost some of that, what with the AI seemingly becoming generic shooter AI, but its implementation of better graphics and more story kept me craving for more.

In short, it should be buried below ground and we should just take Perseus and Extraction Point as cannon to avoid this ridiculous attempt at making a third installment to a game that had a good fan base.

THANK YOU FOR THIS YAHTZEE!!

This has long been my problem with video games that focus on multiplayer *cough* Halo *cough*.

The first Halo was so enjoyable because it had a coherent and good story, the pacing was great, the gameplay was great, etc. Then Halo 2 came along with its crappy XBL focus and they completely revamped the single player gameplay to accommodate that. Halo 2 just FELT different and it was awful. Halo 3 and Reach were even worse. The campaign plays like a multiplayer match- you have to aim perfectly for greatest effect or you instantly run out of ammo. What happened to being able to just lob 8 grenades into a Covenant-Flood fray and watch the chaos that ensued or empty 60 rounds from your assult rifle into a Flood just to watch the blood splatter everywhere? Now in Reach you toss a grenade only at targets of opportunity because you can only carry 2 at a time and you cautiously aim for the head so that you have enough ammo to take out the next room of baddies without having to pick up a plasma pistol.

I hate multiplayer with every fiber of my being. The only fun thing about it is teaming up with a friend once in a while for co-op. Aside from that, I. Hate. It.

The co-op was really the only reason why I bought F3AR, bearing in mind Ive only played about an hour of FEAR 1's singeplayer and the multiplayer free thing on pc.

And I did enjoy it alot, mainly because me and my friend had a cracking time playing.

This is what they might of been doing, tying up the games story while trying to pull in new players by offering something like co-op.

I think that both F.E.A.R. and F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin were great games, the former more so than the latter; but F.3.A.R. was just plain terrible, the disastrous third game of the series, that ultimately might kill it.
On the subject of the third-instalment-that-killed-the-series, I find it funny you mentioned Call of Juarez: The Cartel in the article, because that too is the mediocre third game of an appreciated series (the original Call of Juarez and Bound in Blood were better games with less cheesy dialogue), and it also suffers of the mixed up single player and multiplayer syndrome you were denouncing in this article.
If I remember, you said in your review of Bound in Blood that the developers at Ubisoft passed up on a great opportunity of including co-op in the game, because of the presence of the two main characters the player is actually prompted to choose in-between at the beginning of every chapter - save a few, where they were split up. In my opinion, Ubisoft could've very well added a co-op mode through a patch or some kind of DLC on the PSN Store/XBL Marketplace/Steam Store, but instead they released The Cartel, that has some three-way co-op mode, which has scoresheets at the end of every level, a leveling-up system, and some interesting backstory for each character, that generate "special missions". Sadly enough, most of this backstory is a bit dull, the cooperation with the partner requires concentration and prevents you from focusing on the story, like you mentioned in the article, and again, ruined by the cheesy dialogue.
I'm going to wait on you releasing the new Zero Punctuation video to see what your own thoughts of the game are, but from what I've seen, read and heard about the game, it only of Call of Juarez bears the name, and only very few of the plot and character elements from the previous games remained, like if the developers wanted to do more to link them into an overarching story but had to cut it short.

GrizzlerBorno:
I ....don't think anyone is pretending to portray Fear 3 was a horror game. It just felt like they promoted it as a shooter from....... Day one.

Man, I miss Hankman. Even HE'D be jealous of that one.

Hey no kidding, whatever happened to the HankMan?

BOT: It all depends on the game for me. If done well as in the case of something like Ghostbusters or Borderlands, the multiplayer elements don't have to detract from the singleplayer. It also makes the chatty stuff with your friend even more fun. It just depends on the quality of each whether I enjoy them or not. There is no all or nothing for me although I have wished that the resources to create one had instead been used to focus on the other so I understand how you feel.

Enjoy your cake!

andreas3K:
If a game needs other people to make it entertaining, it's a bad game.

So do you think that Team Fortress 2 is a bad game? I would have difficulty having fun with that one sinle player.

This is one of those occasional times where I disagree greatly with him and think he is talking more than he knows. While I understand a game marketed as a horror game origionally, I dont think FEAR3 is supposed to be scary. The first sure, but now you are either A, a super soldier son of the scary, or the scary psycho son of the scary that was the villian from the first. Its like if you played a Resident Evil game as Wesker. Not exactly going to be a fright fest. Plus I think the co-op worked. My brother and I played through co-op and the different styles was alot of fun. Infact, its something I wish would OCCASIONALLY pop up more. The game is much different depending on who you play. (Though Fettle can play like Point Man if you stay in a body the whole time, its more fun being a support)

mikev7.0:

andreas3K:
If a game needs other people to make it entertaining, it's a bad game.

So do you think that Team Fortress 2 is a bad game? I would have difficulty having fun with that one sinle player.

Yeah, I think it sucks, but that's a matter of personal preference, nevermind that.

I've thought about this a bit more and I sort of disagree with what I said earlier. When you're having fun in multiplayer, it's probably the game you're enjoying more than the company, and you might find it hard to enjoy a bad game even if you play with friends. It just seems a bit weird and unpredictable to have part of the experience be controlled by some random person.

(I wrote this comment half-asleep, I hope it makes sense.)

I bought the first two fear games day of release.

Not this one.

I fully agree with yahtzee.

mikev7.0:

GrizzlerBorno:
I ....don't think anyone is pretending to portray Fear 3 was a horror game. It just felt like they promoted it as a shooter from....... Day one.

Man, I miss Hankman. Even HE'D be jealous of that one.

Hey no kidding, whatever happened to the HankMan?

He's gone to a better place. A place where the "Pun connoisseurs" need not fear the judgement of the Banhammer.

i hate multiplayer. i only play singleplayer in games unless the game is specifically multiplayer (like world of tanks). i hate co-op. im a loner. i want to be able to hide behind a bush for half hour aiming for ennemy, not try to be the bullet eating fridge so my idiot teammate would survive like in deadly dozen game.
singleplayer and multiplayer should be separate. there should be no discussion about it. coop belongs to multiplayer, give me ability to play alone.

The main reasons so many games have forced multi-player now is because developers are getting too lazy to expand the single player part to a decent length and publishers want to make money off of used games and having "pay to play" multi-player is one way to do this. Five years from now nearly every game will have short single player and you will have to play multi-player to get your money's worth. And of course the publisher will make sure that used game buyers will have to pay a fee to play multi-player.

andreas3K:

mikev7.0:

andreas3K:
If a game needs other people to make it entertaining, it's a bad game.

So do you think that Team Fortress 2 is a bad game? I would have difficulty having fun with that one sinle player.

Yeah, I think it sucks, but that's a matter of personal preference, nevermind that.

I've thought about this a bit more and I sort of disagree with what I said earlier. When you're having fun in multiplayer, it's probably the game you're enjoying more than the company, and you might find it hard to enjoy a bad game even if you play with friends. It just seems a bit weird and unpredictable to have part of the experience be controlled by some random person.

(I wrote this comment half-asleep, I hope it makes sense.)

With respect to what you said, for myself it's both. Just this last weekend I was playing Duke Nuke Em' Forever and ended up in a party of old school gamers who were freinds and about four of us that weren't associated. It was a blast. Partly because of the game, partly because of the company.

When KGB and I are playing Borderlands that's definitely a lean towards enjoying the company. Then again KGB and I have been friends since we were 12 years old. So it's a different situation.

With fighting games it's totally different. I'm mostly just enjoying my character and the game since there usually isn't someone on a headset, most folks online would rather not speak while they play for some reason I can't figure out. When they do speak though it's golden sometimes. To quote one of my old friends from Capcom VS. SNK 2 EO "Daaayy-um, it ain't like there's 50k riding on this yo!"

I guess for some of us, we like the weird and undpredictable. For myself I think it's just because I like gaming with others much more than I like gaming alone. Then again I grew up with games that you couldn't play alone so I'm sure that colors my opinion too.

GrizzlerBorno:

mikev7.0:

GrizzlerBorno:
I ....don't think anyone is pretending to portray Fear 3 was a horror game. It just felt like they promoted it as a shooter from....... Day one.

Man, I miss Hankman. Even HE'D be jealous of that one.

Hey no kidding, whatever happened to the HankMan?

He's gone to a better place. A place where the "Pun connoisseurs" need not fear the judgement of the Banhammer.

Oh my god no way! They banned HankMan for making puns?? Okay that's a wee bit south of foul even for here where the Banhammer seems to roam pretty much free and activates by sheer whim at times. I mean I'd never heard him "say" an unkind word to anyone....

That's just literally sad.

cynicalsaint1:
I don't think the problem is so much mixing single and multiplayer, its doing it in a hamfisted manner where you just sort of shove co-op stuff into your single player game.

Take Demon's Souls, the messaging system, the bloodstains, the white phantoms all add to feel of the game. The threat of having a black phantom invade while you're playing in body form. Teaming up with someone as a blue phantom to get some revenge on a boss that pissed you off. It all works very well, and adds to the atmosphere of the game rather than ruin it.

This. While forcing players to play co-op in order to get the best out of a game is silly, it doesn't mean developers can't use other players to add to an experience where it fits in. In fact I think that there's a lot of interesting uses the internet offers that are only beginning to be explored by games like Demon Souls.

FEAR has always been a bad 'horror' game. It startled you to try and keep the tension up in the first one and that worked ok, so they keep stumbling on like that's some sort of amazing device. F.Three.R.E.is just more of the same but since they don't know what horror is they make design choices that make it less workable. That said it will be an interesting experiment in seeing how people deal with it.

Warcraft is an interesting axample of the story getting in the way of the game and vice versa. They want it to be more of an epic single player experience but all they do is botch the multiplayer.

mikev7.0:

andreas3K:

mikev7.0:

So do you think that Team Fortress 2 is a bad game? I would have difficulty having fun with that one sinle player.

Yeah, I think it sucks, but that's a matter of personal preference, nevermind that.

I've thought about this a bit more and I sort of disagree with what I said earlier. When you're having fun in multiplayer, it's probably the game you're enjoying more than the company, and you might find it hard to enjoy a bad game even if you play with friends. It just seems a bit weird and unpredictable to have part of the experience be controlled by some random person.

(I wrote this comment half-asleep, I hope it makes sense.)

With respect to what you said, for myself it's both. Just this last weekend I was playing Duke Nuke Em' Forever and ended up in a party of old school gamers who were freinds and about four of us that weren't associated. It was a blast. Partly because of the game, partly because of the company.

When KGB and I are playing Borderlands that's definitely a lean towards enjoying the company. Then again KGB and I have been friends since we were 12 years old. So it's a different situation.

With fighting games it's totally different. I'm mostly just enjoying my character and the game since there usually isn't someone on a headset, most folks online would rather not speak while they play for some reason I can't figure out. When they do speak though it's golden sometimes. To quote one of my old friends from Capcom VS. SNK 2 EO "Daaayy-um, it ain't like there's 50k riding on this yo!"

I guess for some of us, we like the weird and undpredictable. For myself I think it's just because I like gaming with others much more than I like gaming alone. Then again I grew up with games that you couldn't play alone so I'm sure that colors my opinion too.

Both are definitely involved.

What I meant was that the game provides the playground and the tools for the players to have a good time, and if it does that well and manages to create a solid platform for an enjoyable experience, it's a good game. Good company is always fun, but that doesn't have much to do with the game itself.

I'd say human unpredictability is one of the things that make life interesting, but can also ruin your fun if you end up playing with an asshole. The game is, or at least it should be, designed to give you the best experience possible, but since other players are not part of the game, they're not there to serve you, they only care about themselves. Your friends may care about you, but if you play with strangers, it's up to game to motivate them and you to play together and to not shit on eachother's fun.

At this point I have to disagree entirely with my original statement and say that multiplayer games can be as good as any others. If a game needs more than one player to be good, that's fine. Single player games need an AI, and all games I know of need at least one player. I just prefer to play by myself.

Some co-op games can be fun. I really liked L4D2 and RE5 co-op. I probably wouldn't have played the higher difficulty in RE5 if not for the co-op. Sure not every game should be co-op, but for shooters it's not a bad design.

cynicalsaint1:
I don't think the problem is so much mixing single and multiplayer, its doing it in a hamfisted manner where you just sort of shove co-op stuff into your single player game.

Take Demon's Souls, the messaging system, the bloodstains, the white phantoms all add to feel of the game. The threat of having a black phantom invade while you're playing in body form. Teaming up with someone as a blue phantom to get some revenge on a boss that pissed you off. It all works very well, and adds to the atmosphere of the game rather than ruin it.

He played demon soul's and really didn't consider that function useful at all.

I think Brink was proof that mixing multi and single player doesn't work
I mean I loved the game for its movement system and art style alone, its just, I wish there was more from it.
I wish it had a stand alone campaign that could be played from either side ( resistance or police force ) and then a multiplayer that had the usual affair of team deathmatch and whatnot, but also had similiar objective based game types from the single player.
Plus the AI was shockingly bad.

I agree with Yahtzee on this issue. Trying to shoehorn multiplayer in where it doesn't belong is a recipe for disaster. It's perfectly fine to have both single and multiplayer modes, but when multiplayer functionality begins to constrain plot and atmosphere, or when going solo prevents you from seeing story-based content, it's time to rethink things.

Also, good use of "chucklefuck".

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